Monday, May 20, 2019

Leaving Everything Most Loved (Maisie Dobbs, #10)Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a very special book because it seems to mark a watershed for several of the characters. I'm excited to see where Maisie goes from here. As usual this is a book with twists and turns and a very interesting ending.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Elegy for Eddie (Maisie Dobbs #9)Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A most enjoyable book. Sheds light on how tyranny can come in many forms, and quietly without a peep until it is too late. Such a simple story but with a multitude of messages. Maisie is about to move out of her world and I am about to learn more about this fascinating period between the wars. Jacqueline Winspear, I think you have a special genius for teaching and entertaining at the same time.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

A Lesson in Secrets  (Maisie Dobbs, #8)A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The stories get a little more complex and the characters continue to intrigue me. I feel like I'm taking a history course about Britain between the wars. I'm hooked. Here comes #9.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

China DollsChina Dolls by Lisa See
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another book club book that I am so glad I read. The story, though not a mystery, is a real page turner. I could not wait to see what became of our characters. Lisa See is brilliant and weaves three simple stories with just enough detail to keep you interested. The story moves quickly through a period of history that I thought I knew. It was a different perspective that I appreciated.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Mapping of Love and Death (Maisie Dobbs, #7)The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Love these books. I feel so educated in British history when I read them. Don't get me wrong, the stories are a pleasure, intriguing and hard to put down. This book seeemed like a watershed for many of the recurring characters. I look forward to #8.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs, #6)Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear


These Maisie Dobbs stories are more than just exciting mysteries, they are a lesson in British history. I know so much more about this post WWI period than I did before.
Thie story is captivating and the characters are vivid and so multi-dimensional. I love the writing and the stories. On to @7.

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Wild Card (Stone Barrington, #49)Wild Card by Stuart Woods


A great book, as are all the Stone Barrington stories. Each one has a twist that keeps me waiting for the next one.

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Saturday, March 30, 2019

Dead Line (Liz Carlyle, #4)Dead Line by Stella Rimington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just love reading about Liz. She's smart, clever and never seems to miss a clue. She also has great luck, as is pointed out near the end fo this book. The book is partly, or maybe mostly sloved based on a chance sighting. This is the only weak plot element in this complex and interesting story.

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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Ordinary GraceOrdinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An interesting book, clever plot and well executed. I like the characters and the writing style. This is a book for book club and it would not have been a choice that I would have made. That said, I liked it. The plot was a bit too transparent. I guessed it early on and only wondered how the author would reveal the ending.

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Saturday, March 16, 2019

The HuntressThe Huntress by Kate Quinn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kate Quinn is brilliant. True or not this is a story and a lesson. Its worth reading for its entertainment value but stick around for the history. Remarkably accurate in ways that really count. A lot to learn about here. Love, war and just about everything in between. Action that is pulse driving and love that is tender and warm. The bad guys are bad and the good guys are entertaining and brilliant, in their own way. I loved the Alice Network and this book is worthy nest book. I can't wait for her next novel. What a great talent.

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Monday, March 4, 2019

Big Little LiesBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great book. What a wonderful storyteller Liane Moriarty is. A complex plot with complex and subtle characters who pull you through the story as if you know the people.
The topic is so worth discussion and the story leaves all kinds of paths to think about.
This was a book club book and the discussion was rich and significant to all of us. Abuse and bullying is so common that we tend to miss it when we should decry it.

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Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Lost Girls of ParisThe Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a very good book about a subject I like to read about. WWII spys and intrigue. The characters jump from the page and I felt a little let down by the ending. No spoiler, read it yourself. I hope Pam Jenoff treats this like number one in a series and that she keeps these characters and continues the story.
Her writing is wonderful and the research and accuracy of the places and times is obvious.

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock 'n' RollThe Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll by Ian S. Port
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you have ever heard me talk about my days selling guitars you will hear an echo as you read this book. From 1963-68 I was around selling guitars and amps. Later, of course, I was and still am a consumer of these products.
Bringing the music and the hardware together with the personalities of the tinkerers and inventors is fascinating. The first time I saw a Bigsby guitar I wondered how Leo Fender got away with it. And the first time I played a stratocaster and later owned a jazzmaster, I wondered how the tremolo didn't get a patent claim against it.
If you read the book, and I suggest if you like music that you do, here is an anecdote not in the book.
After the beatles became a thinkg I was selling Vox guitars and amps. Accross town there wer stores selling Fender and Gibson. Vox was so popular we could not keep them in stock and the salesmen from those other stores would come over to see why. We discovered that the reason was the beatles and almost nothing else. The amps were big and loud but also tempermental and prone to failure.

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Monday, February 11, 2019

Illegal Action: (Liz Carlyle 3)Illegal Action: by Stella Rimington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Quite a book. Liz Carlyle is becomming one of my favorite spies. The story is interesting and the characters, are riviting. I believe these books are what one might call a page turner, can't stop reading until you find the crook, or more importantly, how Liz finds the bad guy.

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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Into the WaterInto the Water by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wanted so much to love this book but instead I wandered through it not knowing where it was going. I got lost in the myriad of characters and fixated on some dead end subplots. I lost track of the time order and confused the past and present. Maybe that's what PH had in mind. At the end it seemed to coagulate into a story but by that time I could not wait to finish it.
This is a book for my book club and usually after my very bright friends talk about the book I change my tune. I don't think that will happen with this one.

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Over the past couple of decades I've had a lot of guitars. As the collection got smaller, it also got more and more specialized. I still play a lot but I'm down to just five guitars. 

Instead of one big rack in the family room I've spread them all over the house.  Now that it seems I may be making less changes, here is some history from about 2009 to today... Enjoy.







































Friday, January 18, 2019

The Alice NetworkThe Alice Network by Kate Quinn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a wonderful book. There was nothing about it that I didn't love. First of all, I love hearing the contribution of women during wartime, even with massive misogyny. This story weaves in and out of two eras and eventually brings them together wonderfully.
The writing style is exquisite. I love Ms. Quinn's use of language and he ability to portray emotion on paper. I felt for the characters.
What seemed like a "story" about interesting people during the war turns out to be a well-researched novel based on real people and real events. Some of the characters are synthesized but the author has taken pains to create a story that may seem unbelievable but in reality, is a tribute to these strong women. Thank you, Ms. Quinn, I learned a lot and look forward to more books from your pen.


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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

A Delicate Touch (A Stone Barrington Novel)A Delicate Touch by Stuart Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an incredible book. Stuart Woods has taked the headlines and written a story around them. The events, plot and characters are fiction but the concepts are real and frightening.
I love these stories because they are usually realatively light and fun. This one was light, fun and serious. Out modern world creates serious situations that most of us can only imagine. A clever mind like Stuart Woods' can make things might be mundane, dangerous and frightening.
On a lighter note, some of the new characters give us great promise for more Stone novels. I can't wait. Bring them on.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Secret Asset (Liz Carlyle, #2)Secret Asset by Stella Rimington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great book with a terrific plot and characters. I read the 10th in the series and decided to go back and read them all. This is book 2 and I can see the main character developing. She is smart, clever and sophisticated. I enjoyed the story very much. The book is very British to the point that I had to look up some slang and try to imagine some others.
As in all spy novels one has to decide if the events are plausable. This story is very real and the characters behave like real people, not superheros. They make mistakes and wrong decisions, get tired and simply behave the way one would expect.
I'll get to the next one in a few days.

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